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Physicist Eric A. Schiff Appointed Syracuse Center of Excellence Interim Executive Director
To support a smooth transition in leadership at the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE), Interim Vice President for Research Ramesh Raina has appointed Eric A. Schiff, chair of the Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, as interim executive director. Schiff succeeds Laura J. Steinberg, who is leaving the University for a new role at Boston College. Schiff begins his new role on May 1.
“We are fortunate to have someone with stellar academic credentials and a strong background in project management and collaborative leadership,” says Raina. “And we are so grateful to Eric for stepping up to steer SyracuseCoE and keep it on course as a catalyst for innovation in clean energy, healthy buildings and resilient communities. Eric has dedicated much of his own research portfolio to developing solutions for problems related to energy consumption by consumers, including managing projects related to hybrid solar-thermal/photovoltaic energy conversion, aluminum recycling and efficiency retrofits of single-pane windows.”
Schiff has a long and distinguished history of leading complex research projects that bring together academics, industry scientists and other partners to discover solutions to society’s energy-related problems. In his new role at the helm of SyracuseCoE, he will collaborate with industry to enhance research, development, demonstration and deployment of innovations in SyracuseCoE core focus areas—clean and renewable energy, indoor environmental quality and water resources.
“I am truly honored to have the opportunity to work with the talented researchers and committed partners of SyracuseCoE,” says Schiff. “Their work is transformative in addressing global challenges and finding ways to fund innovative solutions.”
Schiff has been a professor of physics at Syracuse University since 1981, leading interdisciplinary research groups and collaborating with laboratories from other universities and private organizations throughout the world. He has been a principal investigator for externally funded research projects from government agencies (Department of Energy, National Science Foundation and the Empire State Development Corp.) and corporations (United Solar Ovonic LLC, Boeing Inc., First Solar Inc. and SRC Inc.). From 2014-17, he served concurrently as a program director at ARPA-E, an agency of the Department of Energy.
Schiff’s research accomplishments include the development of low-mobility solar cell device physics for thin film solar cells such as perovskites, amorphous silicon and cadmium telluride. His fundamental physics contributions include work on electronic transport and defects in semiconductors as well as plasmonics. He is co-author of more than 100 refereed research publications with more than 4,000 citations and he is co-inventor on three U.S. patents. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.
Raina says a national search will be conducted for a permanent SyracuseCoE executive director.